Book of the Week: The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingleman-Sundberg

There’s rebellion in the retirement home.

Throw away any notions you might have of resigned old folks in rocking chairs, making the best of a bad situation. The gutsy pensioners in Catharina Ingleman-Sundberg’s international bestseller The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules aren’t about to accept their retirement home’s new cost-cutting measures without a fight. Bad food, slashed services, enforced bedtimes and pills to “calm them down” drive them to conclude that even life in a prison would be better. So what to do? Take up a life of crime, of course.

The not-so-retiring retirees hatch a daring plan to escape their retirement home and become burglars. In true Robin Hood fashion, they plan to use some of their loot to support suffering seniors everywhere. And if they get caught? No worries. A stretch in a low-security jail would mean an upgrade in their living conditions!

Drawing from skills honed from their past careers, 79-year-old Martha Andersson and her four best friends – Brains, Rake, Christina and Anna-Greta — scheme their way to wealth, independence … and better food.

Set in Sweden, this lighthearted caper is funny and entertaining, but also weaves in a more serious theme about the quality of life in today’s nursing homes. But mostly it’s a romp, following recent bestsellers The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where “old” people continue to live life to its over-the-top fullest.

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